Manufacturing is Coming Back...But Where Are The Jobs?
MSNBC reports that factories are coming back. And with factories come jobs, right? Not necessarily.
(Photo courtesy MSNBC.com)
Despite the fact that the manufacturing sector in the United States has begun to turn around, that does not mean that jobs are being created. Automation may be to blame, where more tasks can get done with fewer, albeit higher-paid, workers. But, on the flip side, as productivity due to the perfection and rapid production rates of automation increases, so does the need for more employees--just not to the degree that it might have before certain technological advances.
According to MSNBC, the recession seems to have created a "survival of the fittest" phenomena in the manufacturing world:
Productivity is a pretty simple concept: It’s a measure of how much stuff a worker makes in a given number of hours. But increases in U.S. productivity are the result of complex forces that have been reshaping the manufacturing workforce for decades and are expected to continue.
Recently, productivity got a boost from the fallout of a harsh recession that put weaker, less-productive companies out of business or forced them to sell out to stronger, more productive competitors.
Widespread job cuts during the recession also transformed the workforce on individual factory floors, said Greenblatt.
“The guys that are the survivors are the most proficient, the smartest, the hardest-working, best character people,” said Greenblatt. “And those people make more widgets per hour.”
So with these new advances, some jobs may be created, but many low-skilled manufacturing workers are being left behind.
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